The Tararuas pose perhaps the highest and steepest walking on our route on the South Island. On the first day we climbed through beech forests ascending 1,500 meters. It was a steady but achievable day I spent quite a while waiting at the tops of hills for Madeleine to appear. I knew that she would find it tough and she did – but she kept going. There was quite a bit of low cloud and mist but we did have some views.
The second day was tougher still and for large periods we were above the tree line. We had very good bad weather. Although we had no views there was no wind and only a little rain. We made it to the hut to discover three other hikers who we have previously met who hiking most of the Te Araroa and three Kiwi hikers so the 6 berth hut was cozy that night.